Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Ring-necked Snake
(Diadophis punctatus)


solid-colored icon

Ring-necked Snake

photo of ring-necked snake showing orange collar on black body, and orange belly with half-moon markings

Photo by Dr. Steve A. Johnson. This photo may not be used for any purpose without the express written permission of the photographer.


Usually 6–7 in. (max. 10 in.)


Body is gray-black. Neck is ringed with a yellow or orange collar; individuals from the Florida Keys lack a distinct collar. Belly is bright yellow, orange, or red and marked with a row of dark half-moon shapes down the center. Scales are smooth. When handled, this snake will often coil its tail into a corkscrew spiral. This snake lays eggs.


Found throughout Florida, usually in moist forested areas but also in dry pine and hardwood forests. It is commonly seen in gardens and yards of suburban neighborhoods. This secretive snake spends most of its time hidden under rocks, logs, or other cover.


Earthworms, slugs, insects, tadpoles, small frogs, salamanders, small lizards, small snakes

map showing ring-necked snakes are found throughout Florida

Map by Monica E. McGarrity - may be used freely for education.

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